Mistaken For Dog
Exotic creature mistaken for common houshold pet
Better Name Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2011-09-16 04:36:36 sponsor: PapercutChainsaw edited by: MrInitialMan (last reply: 2012-10-08 22:44:41)

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Seriously needs a better title.

Alice has just brought home a new puppy! It's adorable at first, but Alice soon starts to notice it behaving strangely. She takes the animal to a vet, or does some research of her own, only to find that her new pet is not a dog at all.

The animal's true identity could be anything from an alien lifeform to a Mexican sewer rat. The most common variant involves the owner mistaking it for a dog, but other pet variants are possible.

See also I Am Not Weasel, All Animals Are Dogs. If another animal is deliberately masquerading as a dog, or has been disguised as one by a human, it may be Ass in a Lion Skin. When the creature is a sentient lifeform trying to pass as a dog, it's The Dog Is an Alien.

Examples

Advertising
  • Played for Laughs in a commercial for Sears Optical: A lady badly in need of glasses lets a racoon into her house, thinking it's her pet cat.

Film

Literature
  • Played completely and horrifyingly straight in The Thing, where the characters bring a malamute home to their base camp and it turns out to be an alien bent on assimilating all life on Earth.
  • In Piers Anthony's Race Against Time, one clue that tips off to the protagonist that he's living in a human zoo is that his new "puppy" climbs trees, and his "kitten" has a prehensile tail. Whether they're aliens that only look like house pets, or actual pets modified via genetic engineering, he never does find out.
  • In Howard Waldrop's short story The Ugly Chickens, a family has been raising what they think are just very ugly chickens for several hundred years. It turns out that they're actually dodo birds.

Live-Action TV
  • ALF would sometimes be mistaken for a dog, even getting thrown into the pound in one episode.
In Pixelface, at least two sets of visitors to the console (Uthelwynne in two Aethelwynnes" and Alexia's parents in "Alexia's Dinner") have assumed Rex is a dog, despite him talking to them.

Other
  • The urban myth of "The Mexican Pet" involves a woman taking her "dog" to the vet, only to be told that it's a diseased Mexican sewer rat.
  • There's the old joke that ends, "What the hell kind of dog is that?" (After said "dog" bites off the head of a German shepherd.)
    "Well, afore I bobbed his tail and painted him yellow, he was an alligator."

Video Games
  • Happens in a StarCraft cutscene: "Looks like you mashed some poor feller's dog, sarge." "It's a zergling, Lester, smaller type of zerg. They shouldn't be out this far unless... oh shit."
  • Tales of Symphonia has Noishe, who Lloyd thinks is just an oversized dog. He's actually Protozoan, a very ancient species.

Western Animation
  • The Tick mistakes a capybara for a dog and makes a pet of it.
  • Inverted with Ren of Ren and Stimpy; most people think he's some sort of rat, though he's really a chihuahua.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs mistakes the Tasmanian Devil for a dog.
  • In the first episode of The Mighty B!, the dog Portia enters in the dog show turns out to be a rat.
  • Naturally, this sort of thing happens to Mr. Magoo all the time. One cartoon has him releasing a panther from a circus when he mistakes it for his dog being taken away by the dog catcher. In the feature film 1001 Arabian Nights, Magoo's "dog" Bowser is actually a cat, and a subplot has a ball of enchanted yarn used to make a Flying Carpet takes a liking to Magoo after he mistakes it for a cat and starts to pet it.
  • Kim Possible: Kim and Ron go undercover at a dog show, entering Rufus (a naked mole rat) as a contestant. Rufus wins!
  • The Goode Family adopt what looks like a diseased dog. When they take it to the vet, they discover that it's actually a rare Malasian marsupial, whose grotesque appearance is perfectly natural.
  • On The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy enters a werewolf in a dog show.
  • Muppet Babies once had baby Animal mistake a FULLY GROWN DINOSAUR for a puppy.

Real Life
  • Truth in television, with sand cats often being mistaken for domestic cats.

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